A Skunk Cabbage grows out of the snow

Rob Kanter

February 27, 2014 - Environmental Almanac

On the hunt for first flower of spring

The “skunk cabbage,” is a plant that lives up to its name, giving off a distinct, skunk-like odor. But this distinct early spring flower also distinguishes itself from all other plants native to Illinois by the fact that it generates heat--enough so that its flower can remain 36 degrees F warmer than the surrounding air for a period of about two weeks.


An Arctic ground squirrel peeks out from its burrow under the snow

Øivind Tøien

February 06, 2014 - Environmental Almanac

We’re not alone coping with the cold

You’ve probably had about enough of winter by now. But other mammals have to find ways of coping with winter as well - from hibernation to energy storage to huddling together for warmth and to save energy.